01 09 10

search you little tarte

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Everything But the Kitchen Sink... Times Three

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved the phrase "everything but the kitchen sink".  My mother always used it to describe recipes that called for lots of ingredients.  When I am cooking and a recipe is, shall we say, ingredient heavy, that phrase always comes to mind for me as well.  The apple, it seems, doesn't fall far from the tree.

In looking back over past blogs, I found that I have posted two entries entitled "Everything but the Kitchen Sink".  One was for meatloaf and the other was for cookies.  Obviously the phrase has worked its way into the blog as well.

So the other day when I was perusing The Wall Street Journal Saturday edition (yes, I peruse the WSJ), and I happened on a recipe for "Garbage Pail Pasta", my first though was that this recipe called for everything but the kitchen sink.  I was hooked.  I had to make it for Ted and Kate.

The sauce.
This is a great recipe to make on a night you have no idea what to make for dinner and it's 5:00 p.m.  It's also a great recipe to use as a guide.  If you don't have hazelnuts in the house, no problem.  Substitute a like amount of another nut.  If you're not excited about capers, use the same amount of another salty item.  The key to success with this recipe is balance.  Try and keep the balance between earthy, salty, and sweet the same as in the original recipe and you'll have success.

I am a firm believer in making something out of nothing and this recipe achieves just that.  It's really just a hodge podge of ingredients all tossed together with a little pasta to create a very satisfying (and easy) dinner.

Recipe:  Arthur Schwartz's Garbage Pail Pasta
Wall Street Journal, 1/14/12
Total Time: 15 minutes Serves: 2 or 3

This recipe comes from a restaurant that is famous for this dish, as well as the fact that it was founded by brother midgets known as I Corti ("the little people" in Italian). Besides three kinds of nuts, the pasta's sauce has several other typical Neapolitan condiments, such as capers and golden raisins. Garbage pail can be loosely translated as the kitchen sink, or one could read the name to mean literal siftings from the garbage pail. Choose the meaning that amuses you the most.


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon finely chopped hazelnuts
1 rounded tablespoon whole pine nuts
2 tablespoons raisins (preferably golden)
1 rounded tablespoon salted capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped if very large
¼ cup diced fresh cherry or grape tomatoes
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
6 small black olives (preferably Gaeta), pitted and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
8 ounces thick spaghetti (spaghettoni) or regular spaghetti


In a 9- to 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. When hot, add nuts and sauté until pine nuts become lightly colored.   Add raisins, capers and tomatoes. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.  Add oregano, parsley and olives. Stir well. Cook 1 minute longer. Salt to taste. Set aside.

Boil spaghetti in at least 3 quarts of water with a heaping tablespoon of salt. When cooked, drain well.

Toss pasta with seasonings over medium heat until well amalgamated.   If desired, serve with grated pecorino.

No comments:

Post a Comment